Editor's note: This report from the Agricultural Information Service in Botswana, Africa, describes a localized need and the development of an implement to satisfy it.
For a number of years the Mochudi Farmers Brigade has been working to develop and perfect a multipurpose forming implement suited to local conditions. The need for improved implements arises because those which are currently available for draft animals are not suited to the semiarid conditions of Botswana and are generally of poor design.
Farmers are often hindered when their equipment breaks down and they are unable to find a mechanic capable of making repairs. Some have tried planters but, due to poor construction, failed to get satisfactory results and concluded that planters are useless. Another common problem is an insufficient number of fit draft animals to perform operations in a reasonable amount of time.
Because of these and other constraints, many farmers continue with the traditional broadcast-plow method of cropping. Using this method, only fair yields are obtained even in years of above-average rainfall, and in poorer years, a total crop failure may result.
A farmer can only be successful in growing good crops if his equipment can cope with the work in the time available. It is essential to reduce, if not eliminate, the frequency of total crop failure and at the same time produce good crops in most years. In order to do this in a semiarid climate with erratic rainfall distribution, principles of conservation tillage must be applied.
By combining features borrowed from a number of existing implements and ideas gained from consultation with tillage experts from a number of universities in North America, the design of the present Mochudi Toolbar came about. When the implement was introduced to the public in April, 1975, it was given the local name, the Makgonatsotlhe, meaning "the machine which can do everything." The name is considered fitting since almost any type of cultivation tool can be attached to it, and it can also be used for carting or transporting drums of water. By removing some of the components from the toolbar, a walking model can be obtained which allows inter-row cultivation when crops are taller.
The heavy angle iron frame of the Mochudi Toolbar is supported on two pneumatic tires which allow the frame to be lowered or raised mechanically for depth gauge control by pulling back on a lift handle. The frame will support a planter unit, fertilizer applicator, disc hiller/furrowers, sweeps for stubble mulching, and a transport cart.
Further information is available from:
Mochudi Fanners Brigade Box 208, Mochudi Republic of Botswana, Africa
This very simple, lightweight plow weighs 29 pounds (13 kilograms). It can be fitted with either a moldboard or a ridging body.
ETS. Techine 82400 Valence D'Agen France
This tool frame can accept either of two types of ridging body, or an adjustable mold-board plow. The frame is of lightweight but heavy-gauge rectangular section steel tube, and is ail-welded. The handles are adjustable for height, and on the lister-type ridger the pitch of the body is also adjustable. Either a wheel
or a skid is used for depth control. The slade and the steering fin are individually adjustable on all attachments.
Project Equipment, Ltd. Industrial Estate, Rednal Airfield West Felton, Oswestry Salop SY11 4HS, U.K.
The frame of this implement can be fitted with a moldboard plow body or with an adjustable-width ridging body.
Gebruder Eberhardt D79 Ulm, Donau BP. 204, Germany
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